Clash of the titans
The Bolshoi and the Mariinsky bring their ancient rivalry to London. That’s good news for us, says Hugh Canning
“I am not at war, not with the Bolshoi or the Hochhausers.” Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, music director-elect of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, sounds understandably bullish. This week, he brings to London both of the St Petersburg companies over which he reigns supreme: the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet, as they are now known, even though their former, now politically incorrect name, the Kirov (a Soviet apparatchik), is emblazoned in eye-catching white on the publicity.
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